Happy New Year everyone! It’s that time again when I share with you my Top Ten reads of the outgoing year. Now, I may have cheated a little with my Top Ten of 2021, but then my blog, my rules, so you will spot a couple of entries that contain more than one book. As usual, these books are in no particular order. There are one or two that I still owe a review, but where I have reviewed, if you click on the title, it will take you to the full review.
(I know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I have to say, the books on this year’s list are particularly gorgeous, aren’t they?)
This Can Never Not Be Real – Sera Milano and Where Hope Comes From – Nikita Gill
These two, very different, books had a long-lasting effect on me, and in fact I think they are books that have probably changed me forever. I read This Can Never Not Be Real way back in April, and I still find it hard to put into words how it made me feel. It is a startling raw book that invaded my thoughts even when I wasn’t reading. Where Hope Comes From was exactly the book I needed to get me through the year. After shielding for most of 2020, and then heading back into lockdown this year, my mental health has taken something of a battering, and this beautiful book was a real comfort.
Kingdom of the Wicked and Kingdom of the Cursed – Kerri Maniscalco
I fell in love with Kingdom of the Wicked long before I ever opened the first page, having seen it in so many beautiful Instagram photographs. I just knew I had to get my hands on a copy of the hardback, and I wasn’t disappointed when I did. As soon as Kingdom of the Cursed became available to pre-order, I was straight on the case, and now I am impatiently awaiting the release of the final instalment, Kingdom of the Feared.
Next up are two magical YA books that were wonderful summer reads. A large majority of the books I read are YA, and I can never resist a book with even a hint of magic or witchcraft, so these were perfect for me.
Once Upon A Broken Heart – Stephanie Garber and Witches of Barcelona – Caedis Knight
Regular readers will know that I am a huge fan of both Stephanie Garber and Caedis Knight, and if they have a book out in any year, the chances are it will appear in my Top Ten. These are authors who I swear just get better and better with every book they release, and I am very excited for their forthcoming 2022 books (one of which I may have already pre-ordered).
The Nightgarden Saga – Lucy Holden
Okay, I am cheating a little here as I am including four books as one entry. I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Red Magnolia from NetGalley, and I absolutely fell in love with it. As soon as the rest of the books became available for pre-order, I ordered the entire series, and having read the first four I am now counting the days until book five is released. I think this is quite possibly my favourite YA paranormal series. I can’t get enough of it.
Rounding out my Top Ten are two wonderful festive reads, both of which are totally magical in very different ways. I adore Isabella May and always devour her books, and it was a real treat to revisit some familiar characters in a return to Glastonbury. Midnight in Everwood is a beautifully imagined retelling of The Nutcracker, and I completely fell under its spell. I know I will be returning to both of these books for many Christmases to come.
Have you read any of these and did you love them as much as I do? What were your top reads of 2021? I would love to hear your recommendations.